Douglas M. Worndl
Doug Worndl is a member of Rochon Genova’s Class Action and Aviation Litigation practice groups.
Doug has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law since 2018 teaching “Securities Litigation: The Public and Private Enforcement of Securities Law”. He has also has been a frequent guest lecturer at Osgoode Hall Law School and a speaker at professional conferences on topics related to securities litigation, securities enforcement, investor protection, corporate governance and statutory civil liability under the Ontario Securities Act. He has appeared before the Ontario Securities Commission and has co-authored a number of comment letters to the OSC regarding specific proposed policy initiatives which impact investor protection.
Significant recoveries achieved in securities class actions include claims against issuers CIBC ($125 million, 2022); SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. ($110 million, 2018); Home Capital Group Inc. ($29.5 million, 2017); Donnybrook Energy Inc. ($5.5 million, 2015); Zungui Haixi Corporation ($10.85 million, 2013).
Doug has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, the Superior Court of Québec, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the Supreme Court of Canada, and on a number of private commercial arbitrations.
Before joining Rochon Genova, Doug practiced for 7 years as a partner at prominent Toronto class action firm and for more than 19 years (+15 years as a partner) at one of Canada’s largest law firms, where his practice focused on corporate/commercial, product liability, aviation and securities litigation.
Since January 2011, Doug’s practice has focused on investor recovery by way of securities class actions. His clients have included individual and institutional investors who have suffered losses as a result of breaches of duty by capital markets participants. He has been involved in virtually all aspects of the prosecution of securities class actions as is reflected in many reported decisions where he has appeared as counsel. Notable securities class actions where Doug has appeared for shareholders include actions against issuers CIBC, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., Aphria Inc., Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation, Zungui Haixi Corp., Donnybrook Energy Inc., Canadian Solar Inc., and Home Capital Group Inc.
In his early years of practice, Doug was Counsel and Director of Research to the Federal Commission of Inquiry into the Air Ontario Crash at Dryden, Ontario (1989-1991). After more than 160 days of public hearings, the Commission issued a 3 volume final report and an interim report which resulted in substantial improvements in aviation safety in Canada and around the world, particularly with regard to winter flight operations and aviation safety systems.
Doug is part of Rochon Genova’s team which is prosecuting individual actions on behalf of approximately 235 family members of 76 passengers who perished in the tragic crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight UIA PS752 shortly after take-off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport on January 8, 2020.
Doug is a graduate of the University of Toronto (BA specializing in economics and history, 1984); the University of Toronto Faculty of Law (LL.B., 1987), and Osgoode Hall Law School (LL.M., Securities Law, 2008). Doug was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1989.
- Green v. CIBC, 2022 ONSC 373 – Largest secondary market securities class action settlement in Canada (CAD$125 million) – Case arose out of CIBC’s public disclosure of its exposure to U.S. sub-prime mortgage backed securities.
- The Trustees of the Drywall Acoustic Lathing and Insulation Local 675 Pension Fund v. SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., 2018 ONSC 6447 – Second largest secondary market securities class action settlement in Canada (CAD$110 million) – Case arose out of one of most significant corporate corruption scandals in Canadian business history.
- Vecchio Longo Consulting Services Inc. v. Aphria Inc., 2022 ONSC 4753, 2021 ONSC 5405 – Certified global class action against Canadian cannabis producer regarding misrepresentation claims by both secondary market purchasers (OSA Part XXIII.1) as well as prospectus purchasers (OSA Part XXIII); successful counsel on carriage motion contested by three leading class action firms (2019 ONSC 3698)
- McDonald v. Home Capital Group, 2017 ONSC 5195 – (Settlement CAD$29.5 million) – Case related to near collapse of Canada’s largest sub-prime mortgage lender following revelation of financial disclosure misrepresentation regarding mortgage underwriting practices.
- Zaniewicz v. Zungui Haixi Corporation, 2013 ONSC 5490 – (Settlement CAD$10.85 million) – Case related to allegations of misrepresentation in financial statements and auditor and underwriter negligence in connection with an initial public offering of securities by an Ontario public company whose operating subsidiaries were in China.
- Wayne Philpott v. Donnybrook Energy Inc. et al., Unreported Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta File Number 1301-10050 – (Settlement CAD$5.5 million) – Case involved plan of arrangement with spin-off of oil and gas assets, and dilutive private placement. Certified common issues included statutory oppression and circular misrepresentation pursuant to Alberta Securities Act
- Rooney v. ArcelorMittal SA, 2015 ONSC 3457, 2016 ONCA 630 – (Settlement CAD$6.5 million) – Case arose out of a take-over of Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation which owns one of the world’s largest and richest undeveloped iron ore deposits. Certfied common issues included OSA Part XXIII take-over bid misrepresentation and oppression.
- Abdulla v. Canadian Solar, 2012 ONCA 211, 2014 ONSC 5167, 2015 ONSC 53 (Settlement USD$13 million) – Case arose out of financial statement restatement of Canadian corporation listed on NASDAQ. Certified global class action of OSA Part XXIII.1 misrepresentation and statutory oppression.
Other Reported Cases of Note
- Celanese Canada Inc. v. Murray Demolition Corp. — Successful co-counsel on leading SCC authority on Anton Pillar relief, solicitor-client privilege, and removal of counsel where breach of privilege (cited over 275 times) – Appearances:  2 SCR 189, 269 DLR (4th) 193; 73 O.R. (3d) 64 (OCA) (appeal of Ontario Divisional Court decision); 69 O.R. (3d) 632 (Div Court) (appeal of Superior Court decision)
- 1654776 Ontario Limited v. Stewart – (2013) 114 OR (3d) 745 (CA) – Application for third party disclosure in aid of shareholder action arising out of failed going private transaction of large cap public issuer telecommunications company. Leading appellate authority regarding Norwich Pharmacal relief – Court of Appeal affirmed that actions brought pursuant to the civil liability provisions of OSA Part XXIII.1 are in the public interest of promoting compliance with the continuous disclosure regime of Ontario securities law);
- Air Nova v. Messier-Dowty Ltd.  O.J. No. 39 (Ont.C.A). On behalf of UK aircraft landing gear manufacturer and its insurer at Lloyds, successful summary judgment motion and appeal dismissing airline subrogated action arising out of crash of jet airliner upon collapse of landing gear;
- R. v. Deutche Lufthansa A.G. (1994) 25 Imm.L.R. (2d) 85; O.J. No. 1618 (Ont.C.A.);  OJ No. 2908 (Ont.Gen.Div)); and R. v. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (1993) 22 Imm.L.R. (2d) 63;  O.J. No. 2908 (Ont.Gen.Div.) Successful defense of international airlines in test case prosecutions of alleged violations of the Immigration Act – acquittals achieved for both airlines (trial and appeal decisions cited)
Federal Commission of Inquiry
- Commission of Inquiry into the Air Ontario Crash at Dryden Ontario, Final Report (1992) (Commissioner, the Honourable Virgil P. Moshansky) Was Counsel and Director of Research to this Judicial Inquiry formed by the Government of Canada as an independent investigation into the contributing factors and causes of the March 10, 1989 Air Ontario crash of a Fokker F-28 in which 24 individuals perished. This was a two and one half year engagement involving more than 160 hearing days, and multi-volume report to Parliament which served as catalyst to substantial improvements in aviation safety in Canada and internationally.
Securities Public Policy Comment Letters
- OSC Staff Notice 15-704: “Response to Request for Comments on Proposed Enforcement Initiatives – No Contest Settlements” (December 6, 2011) with A. Dimitri Lascaris http://www.osc.gov.on.ca/documents/en/Securities-Category1-Comments/com_20111206_15-704_worndld_lascarisd.pdf
- OSC Staff Notice 15-704: “Supplemental Response to Request for Comments on Proposed Enforcement Initiatives – No Contest Settlements” (December 19, 2011) with A. Dimitri Lascaris, http://www.osc.gov.on.ca/documents/en/Securities-Category1-Comments/com_20111206_15-704_worndld_lascarisd.pdf
- Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory System – Draft Capital Markets Act and Capital Markets Stability Act (December 7, 2014) with A. Dimitri Lascaris and Anthony O’Brien, http://ccmr-ocrmc.ca/wp-content/uploads/com_20141207_draft-legislation_siskinds-llp.pdf
- OSC Staff Consultation Paper 15-601: “Proposed Framework of an OSC Whistleblower Program” (January 11, 2016) with A. Dimitri Lascaris, Daniel Bach, Ronald Podolny.
- Appearance – Business News Network Headline Panel Discussion, Topic: “Investor Class Action Lawsuits”, (Toronto: March 14, 2012)
- Op-Ed – Globe and Mail, “Just say no to OSC’s no-contest settlements”, with A. Dimitri Lascaris (January 31, 2012)
- Quoted in: “No contest OSC settlements are ‘bad public policy,’ Douglas Worndl and Dimitri Lascaris say”, Financial Post, Barbara Shecter (December 13, 2011)
- Quoted in: “Is OSC backing down on no-contest settlements?”, Law Times, Michael McKiernan (October 1, 2012)
- Quoted in: “No-contest settlements would free resources for costly market misconduct cases: OSC director”, Financial Post, Barbara Shecter (June 17, 2013)
- Quoted in: “OSC bans Zungui Haixi founders from capital markets”, Financial Post, Peter Koven (August 29, 2012)
- Quoted in: “Many said Bill 198 would unleash investor suits. What gives?”, Financial Post, Julius Melnitzer (November 15, 2006) p. FP17
Areas of Practice
- Securities Class Actions
- Complex Commercial Litigation
- Aviation Litigation
- Ontario, 1989
- University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- LL.B., 1987
- Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- LL.M. (Securities Law), 2008
- University of Toronto, Faculty of Arts and Science, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- B.A., (Economics and History), 1984
- Aviation Insurers (London, New York, Toronto)
- Institutional and Individual Investors
Teaching / Speaking Engagements / Publications
- Adjunct Professor – University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, “Securities Litigation, the Public and Private Enforcement of Securities Law” (2018/2019; 2019/2020; 2021/2022 academic years)
- Guest Lecturer – Osgoode Hall Law School LL.M. Program in Business Law Topic: “Corporate Governance: The Role of Private Litigation in the Enforcement of Securities Laws — Shareholder Class Actions and Other Remedial Tools” (various dates)
- Guest Lecturer – Osgoode Hall Law School JD Investor Protection Clinic, “Securities Class Actions” (Toronto: October 23, 2017)
- Guest Lecturer – Osgoode Hall Law School Upper Year JD Seminar on Litigation and Regulatory Risk, Topic: Securities Class Actions – Settlement Strategies (Toronto: February 10, 2016)
- Panelist – FAIR Canada / Osgoode Hall Law School Symposium – Public & Private Enforcement: Improving Recovery for Harmed Investors, Panel Topic: Jurisdictional Issues Involving Foreign Investors, Foreign Exchanges and Foreign Public Companies (Toronto: October 26, 2015)
- Appeared before Ontario Securities Commission Enforcement Policy Hearing on No-Contest Settlements and other Enforcement Initiatives (Toronto: June 17, 2013)
- Speaker – Insight Securities Litigation, Topic: Recent Developments in Securities Litigation: No Contest Settlements (Toronto: September 27, 2012)
- Panelist – Professional Liability Underwriting Society (“PLUS”) professional development seminar – “Bill 198 and Other Recent Canadian D&O Claim Developments.” (Toronto: June 8, 2012)
- Speaker – Canadian Institute’s Class Actions Litigation Bootcamp, Topic: “Hallmarks of a Viable Class Action” (Toronto: April 18, 2012)
- Conference Planning Committee Member and Panel Moderator – American Bar Association Forum on Air & Space Law Annual Meeting and Conference – Panel: Developments in International Aviation (featuring leading aviation litigators from Canada, the USA and Europe. topics included, among other things, “The class action and its use in the litigation of air disaster claims”; and “Criminal proceedings arising out of air disasters” (Montreal: September 22-23, 2011)
- Presenter/Panelist – Advocates’ Society Civil Litigation Skills Certificate Program – “Working with Experts: Practical Tips and Techniques for Winning Cases” – Panel Topic: Preparing, Qualifying and Leading your Expert” (Toronto: May 18, 2011)
- Speaker – 8th Annual Strategy Institute Market Access Summit: “Understanding the Judicial and Practical Implications of PMPRB (Patented Medicine Prices Review Board) Developments and What it Means to the Industry,” (Toronto: November 4, 2009)
- Presenter – Lifetime Achievement Award at ZSA Western Canada Corporate Counsel Awards, (Calgary Alberta: October 27, 2009)
- Speaker – OBA Continuous Disclosure Update – “Compliance with the New Secondary Market Civil Liability Regime: the Role of the Legal Advisor,” (Toronto: January 23, 2007)
- Supreme Court of Canada will Hear Kerr v. Danier Leather Appeal: Court to Examine IPO Disclosure and the Application of the Business Judgment Rule to Mandatory Disclosure Rules, Borden Ladner Gervais Securities and Capital Markets Alert (June 22, 2006)
- Speaker – Law Society of Upper Canada 12 Minute Securities Lawyer, Presented Case Comment: “Kerr v. Danier Leather – No duty to disclose new material facts in period from prospectus receipt to closing”, (Toronto: May 31, 2006)
- A New World of Public Company Exposure, Canadian Corporate Counsel Association Handbook, 2006 at p. 15
- Speaker – 3rd Annual LexisNexis Commercial Litigation Commercial Litigation Conference: Litigating Shareholder Disputes, Presented: Bill 198 and the New World of Directors’ and Officers’ Liability and Shareholder Class Actions, (Toronto: February 10, 2006)
- Organized and led multi-city BLG client seminar series on shareholder class actions: Directors’ and Officers’ Liability: A New World Order – The New Civil Liability Rules of the Ontario Securities Act (2005 – Toronto: October 19; Calgary: October 26; Vancouver: October 27; Montreal: November 1; Toronto: December 9)
- The Ontario Court of Appeal Applies Cartaway to restore OSC Decision in Donnini Insider Trading Case – Re: Donnini v. Ontario (Securities Commission) 3:2 Commercial Litigation Review 26 (June 2005)
- The Supreme Court of Canada Considers Sanctions Imposed by Securities Regulators: Re: Cartaway Resources Corp., 3:1 Commercial Litigation Review (February 2005)
- Legislation Introduced to Enable Implementation of “Bill 198” Shareholder Class Action Regime, 2:4 Commercial Litigation Review 54 (December 2004)
- Shareholder Class Actions: Still Waiting for Ontario’s Bill 198, 24:7 The Lawyers’ Weekly, (June 18, 2004)
- Shareholder Class Actions: A New Statutory Regime in Ontario – Part One: Liability and Defenses, 1:1 Commercial Litigation Review (May 2003)
- Shareholder Class Actions: A New Statutory Regime in Ontario – Part Two: Damages, Liability Limits, Anti-Strike Suit Provisions, 1:2 Commercial Litigation Review (July 2003)
- Statutory Civil Liability for Secondary Market Disclosure: Opening the Door to Shareholder Class Actions in Canada www.blgcanada.com (February 2003)
- Chair and Organizer (along with Deloitte & Touche) – Corporate Counsel Seminar: “Hot Topics in Corporate Law and Accounting” (Toronto: September 10, 2002)
- Punitive Damages in Canadian Products Liability Claims: Will Whiten v Pilot Insurance Make a Difference, Presented at Federated Press Products Liability Conference (Toronto: May 16, 2002)
- Contrasting the Litigation of Claims in Ontario and the United States  International Journal of Insurance Law 172
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Law Society of Ontario (Formerly known as Law Society of Upper Canada), Member
- Canadian Bar Association, Member
- Advocates’ Society, Member
- American Bar Association, Member
- Aviation Insurance Association, Member
- American Association for Justice, Member
Past Employment Positions
- Commission of Inquiry into Air Ontario Crash at Dryden Ontario (“Moshansky Commission”), Director of Research and Counsel, 1989 – 1991
- Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (and predecessor firm Borden & Elliot), Partner, 1991 – 2010
- Siskinds LLP, Partner, 2011 – 2017
Pro Bono Activities
- Teaching: University of Toronto Faculty of Law; Osgoode Hall Law School
- Various student, young lawyer mentoring activities
- Class Actions
- Personal Injury
- Accident Benefits And Tort Claims
- Back And Spinal Injuries
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Chronic Pain
- Commercial Vehicles And Public Transportation
- Depression, PTSD
- Disability Claims, Denial Of Insurance
- Facebook plays a growing role in many personal injury cases
- Head And Brain Injuries
- Major Insurance Claims
- Motorcycle Accidents And Amputation
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Occupier’s Liability
- Pedestrian And Bicycle Accidents
- Wrongful Death
- Aviation Law
- Breach of Privacy
- Commercial Litigation
- Sexual Abuse/Sexual Assault
- Indigenous Rights